A long overdo Father/Son weekend finally came together, and we settled on a halfway point between where we live, Moab, Utah. Home of Delicate Arch. This is a favorite place of mine because of the endless hiking available (posts to come), as well as the most scenic towering red rocks and stunning sandstone arches. Moab is also known for accommodating those who want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane at 10,000 feet.
It was the experience of a lifetime and had deep significance to us as my son who was in the Air Force and now with the Air National Guard, had never jumped. And my dad, who was also in the Air Force back in the glory days at Edwards Air Force Base, never got to jump. Though he has passed, I brought his dog tags which I proudly wore around my neck… he was going to jump with me.
So what can I say, jumping out of an airplane is the most exhilarating, thrilling, crazy fun, and yes, terrifying experience you can have. You start on the ground with a quick introduction to the sport, watch a video explaining everything, and sign a release of responsibility just in case something goes wrong. Alrighty then, thumbs up!
Experienced jump masters suit you up, make sure all gear is good to go, and then you load up into the plane like sardines. Me, my son, our jump masters and the pilot crammed into a Cessna. The door closes and off we go into the wild blue yonder.
The view over Moab at 10,000 feet is amazing. Red earth, parts of it look like a Mars landscape. Everything seems so peaceful as you sit peering out the small window, and then then door flies open and a loud rush of wind hits the cabin, and you think, “oh man, this is about to get real.”
My son jumped first, then my jump master and I wiggled to the door next. What can I say, looking out the door of a solidly good plane down 10,000 feet over the planet, well… it’s scary and thrilling at the same time with your heart pounding at 100 beats per second. You wiggle, and wiggle, place your feet on a little step outside the plane, then roll out into thin air … just like that… you are flying. (a.k.a. falling fast).
Arched back, roar of wind, staring out over Moab… AWESOME!. After a short free fall, the shoot opens and it becomes rather quiet and peaceful. It’s very relaxing just hanging out, floating, and I got the chance to guide the chute and try some spins in the air. Anywhere from 5-9 minutes of gliding and then it’s 3-2-1-0, you’re sliding onto a soft spot of ground back at the airport. Terra Firma never felt so good.
Great staff and crew, and I highly recommend jumping with Skydive Moab. Bucket list moment, check!
Here’s to thrilling discoveries!
(Many thanks to SkyDive Moab for some of the images used)